Israel-Gaza updates: US making progress toward escape for Americans in Gaza

IDF shared a video appearing to show bulldozers breaking through a barricade.

Thousands of people have died and thousands more have been injured since the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and total siege of the neighboring Gaza Strip, leaving the region on the verge of all-out war.

Click here for updates from previous days.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern.


What we know about the conflict

The latest outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, has passed the four-month mark.

In the Gaza Strip, at least 29,410 people have been killed and 69,465 others have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to Gaza's Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured by Hamas and other Palestinian militants since Oct. 7, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

There has also been a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli forces have killed at least 395 people in the territory since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The ongoing war began after Hamas-led militants launched an unprecedented incursion into southern Israel from neighboring Gaza via land, sea and air. Scores of people were killed while more than 200 others were taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities. The Israeli military subsequently launched retaliatory airstrikes followed by a ground invasion of Gaza, a 140-square-mile territory where more than 2 million Palestinians have lived under a blockade imposed by Israel and supported by Egypt since Hamas came to power in 2007. Gaza, unlike Israel, has no air raid sirens or bomb shelters.


What the US is requesting before Israel launches Gaza invasion

A senior U.S. official said Thursday the administration has requested that Israel allow the U.S. to get forces in place before Israel launches an expected ground invasion in Gaza.

The U.S. has also requested that Israel get a better handle on the hostage and humanitarian situation in Gaza, where cases of dysentery from people drinking contaminated water are being reported, the official said.

Additionally, the U.S. told the Israelis that it is still not convinced they have a good plan for what they want to do in Gaza, the official said.


US explains wanting a 'temporary pause' for humanitarian reasons

White House national security council spokesman John Kirby explained during a briefing what the U.S. meant by wanting a "temporary pause" in the action.

"As Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken said, we do think that there should be consideration made right now for humanitarian pauses," Kirby said. "These are localized, temporary, specific pauses on the battlefield so that humanitarian assistance can get in to people that need it or the people can get out of that area in relative safety. That's what a humanitarian pause is, and we think it's an idea worth exploring."

"Now, it could also be more than one spot, right?" he added. "So, I mean, it depends, but we think it's a valuable idea that's worth looking at to help alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Gaza."

Kirby said 74 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have entered Gaza since the Rafah border crossing was opened on Oct. 21, but added it was "not enough." Twelve trucks have crossed with supplies in the last 24 hours, he said.

-ABC News' Ben Gittleson


US to send 2 Iron Dome systems to Israel

The U.S. will be sending its two Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense systems to Israel, the Pentagon said Thursday.

"We're also planning to provide the two U.S. Iron Dome systems currently in our inventory to Israel to help further bolster their air defense capabilities and protect citizens from rocket attacks," Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters today at his briefing.

Ryder said he would not provide delivery timelines due to operational security and would only say that all of the air-defense systems being sent by the U.S. would be "online soon."

Ryder also told reporters that 900 U.S. troops have been deployed or will be deploying to the Middle East, making care to say they will not be going to Israel itself. This includes the THAAD air defense unit, the Patriot missile systems and an air-defense headquarters -- some of which were part of the original 2,200 placed on Prepare to Deploy Orders a few weeks ago.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez



US making progress toward escape route for Americans in Gaza: State Dept.

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said the U.S. was continuing "close consultations with both the Israeli government and the Egyptian government as well as the United Nations" on opening the Rafah border crossing to American citizens, but that those still talks hadn't crossed the finish line yet.

"We have been making progress. I can't get into the details of that progress because they are very sensitive negotiations, but it's something that we are focused on and hope to have American citizens and other foreign nationals able to move through in the coming days," Miller said.

Miller said the State Department sent a message to American citizens Wednesday telling them that they were continuing "to work out a solution." And while the administration still hasn't given an estimate on how many Americans it is in contact with in Gaza, for the first time Miller said the State Department was speaking with "several hundred."

-ABC News' Shannon Crawford